Falcon Heavy L-1 Weather Forecast: 70% Chance Favorable

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 70% chance of favorable weather Monday, June 24, for launch of the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 mission on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

The launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT tomorrow. Lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the three-booster rocket will take NASA payloads and a total of 24 satellites from government and research institutions to space.

Satellite payload inside rocket
NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) inside the Falcon Heavy rocket. Credit: SpaceX

Forecast Details
An upper-level ridge over the Southeast U.S. will keep the shower and thunderstorm activity over Central Florida below seasonal norms. The surface ridge axis is south of the Space Coast however, which will keep the isolated afternoon convection along the Space Coast. This southwesterly flow will also bring high temperatures in the 90s over the Spaceport. The primary weather concerns for a launch attempt overnight Monday are lingering anvil and thick layer clouds from the isolated afternoon convection.

On Tuesday, the upper-level ridge will begin moving east, allowing a storm system to drop into Florida. Thus, the coverage of showers & storms will increase, while the launch weather concerns remain the same.

Delay probability of violating launch weather constraints: 40%

Primary concern(s):  Anvil Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Layer Rule

Prelaunch Technology Show: Today, June 23
A prelaunch NASA technology show is scheduled for Sunday, June 23 at noon from Kennedy. NASA will stream the briefing live at https://www.nasa.gov/live.

Launch Coverage: Monday, June 24
Live NASA Television coverage of the Falcon Heavy launch will begin 30 minutes before liftoff.

NASA missions and other highlights on this mission include:

  • Multiple NASA technologies, including a small satellite to test the performance of non-toxic “green” spacecraft fuel and an advanced atomic clock to improve how spacecraft navigate
  • Six National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather research satellites, each equipped with a radio occultation (GPS) instrument developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Twin NASA CubeSats that will work in tandem with the NOAA satellites to measure distortion of radio signals traveling through the upper atmosphere
  • An Air Force Research Laboratory spacecraft equipped with NASA instruments to measure how space weather and radiation impact spacecraft electronics
  • StangSat, a CubeSat developed by Florida high school students under the mentorship of Kennedy engineers

For additional information about the NASA technologies aboard the launch, visit: www.nasa.gov/spacex

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